This is how all of my Damascus starts out.
I stack 7 layers of 1095 and 203-E together and hammer weld it together.
This is a critical weld because you're welding 7 pieces of dissimilar steel together.
After this weld all welding is fusing the same steel together and welding only 4 pieces instead of 7.
I draw the bar out, grind the scale off and cut it into 4 pieces.
These are restacked and go back into the forge for the second weld.
I do this until I reach 448 layers for large blades and 336 layers for small blades.